Saturday, May 9, 2015

He Had The Most Amazing Head Of Hair In South Dakota. And He Was A Pretty Decent Guy To Boot. R.I.P. Pat Duffy

Pat Duffy
(photo from
     A few months back, last October I think, I got a phone call that made me feel like I and and The Constant Commoner had arrived.  It was Pat Duffy calling to tell me that he admired me and my blog and wishing me continued success with it.  We chatted for a couple of minutes, during which I was able to tell him that I knew him by reputation and had been a long-distance admirer for many years.  It was one of those moments of mutual appreciation with someone you hold in high regard that generates a sense of satisfaction--a rush if you know what I mean--that I wish on all of you.  
    Duffy's long career as a protagonist for causes that he held close to heart is an example to those who are committed to making a positive difference in their communities.  True, he was a high-profile lawyer that kept him in the public eye, but I have no doubt that the passions motorizing his embrace of so many causes, most notably environmental and Indian rights (the Rapid City Journal notes that he donated thousands of hours of pro bono work to securing Indian voting rights), came from a soul similar to those of many in our community, less well-known but equally energized. They are campaigners who make the creation of a better, more just society the centerpieces of their own life commitments.  You don't have to agree with their--or Duffy's--points of view or foundational beliefs, but you have to admire their selfless dedication to making this community, this state of ours, the better place they long for. 
    They certainly lost a champion when Duffy died yesterday.  

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